Everyone knows that February 14 is traditionally recognized as a day to celebrate love, but you may not know that it’s also the perfect day to share the love of reading with family, friends and even strangers!
International Book Giving Day, celebrated on February 14, is a volunteer initiative designed to increase children’s access to books and their enthusiasm for reading. The goal is to get books into the hands of as many children as possible, and it’s celebrated right around the world.
The movement may be focused on children, but we think it’s perfectly fine to expand the scope of International Book Giving Day and share a book or two with adults or seniors in your community too! After all, a love of reading doesn’t stop when you grow up, and grown-ups are certainly almost always in need of the peace and blissful escape that a good story brings.
So on February 14, consider committing a random act of literary love! Remember, brand new books are great, but gently used books have a very long shelf life too. Check out these ideas for some International Book Giving Day inspiration:
- Leave a book behind for someone to find. Place a book in a waiting room, on a train, or in some other public place where it will be easily discovered. Put a sticky note on the cover saying, “I’m not lost! If you want me, I’m yours! Happy International Book Giving Day!” so the finder knows the book is theirs to keep. Visit Book Giving Day for free, downloadable book plates and book marks you can print out and include when you’re giving your books away on February 14.
- Organize a book drive for a school, library, shelter or another organization in need. Contact family, friends and neighbors and ask if they are able to donate a book or two. Be specific about what kind of books you are hoping to donate to your chosen organization, and make sure to check with the organization first to make sure they are able to accept your donation.
- Host a children’s book swap. If your kids’ shelves are overflowing with books they no longer read, consider organizing a book swap with other moms and dads. Have everyone bring their gently loved books over, then let all the kids choose new-to-them books to take home from the big pile of hand-me-downs. Any books that remain unclaimed at the end of the afternoon can be donated to charity.
- Donate books to a local nursing home. Seniors homes often have reading rooms, but the collections are usually small and don’t change very often. If they are willing to accept donations, go through your home and collect magazines, books and even DVDs so the staff can restock the reading room with new selections for the seniors to enjoy.
- Give a book to a special child in your life. Choose a book you loved as a child, or check out sites like Brightly for their list of 20 must-read pictures books, Fatherly for their list of the best books of 2018, or Smithsonian for their list of the 10 best books of 2018 to choose a brand new classic.
Books can sometimes be pricy, so websites like BookOutlet, Book Depository and Book People are great places to shop for bargain books for both children and adults if you’re interested in purchasing new books for International Book Giving Day.
Don’t forget that as a Foresters Financial Member, you can apply online for a Foresters Community Grant to help you organize a charitable activity that’s meaningful to you and your local community. Putting together book-themed care packages for a women’s shelter, for example, would be great way to spend quality time with family and friends in support of International Book Giving Day! Visit MyForesters.com for more information.
416896 C CAN/US (02/19)